Problems of the Periodization of Training in Mixed Sports [Part 1]

Problems of the Periodization of Training in Mixed Sports [Part 1]


This article was motivated by couple of things:

  • Me trying to figure out the training plan for the next preparatory period for my soccer club, that starts in a month
  • A short e-mail discussion with Lyle McDonald regarding the problems of the mixed sports
  • A lack of information available on the internet, based on my Google search. A lot of people are confused by periodization models and their application to mixed sports and their own problems, specifics and context. Or as Lyle would say: “Square peg + round hole = bad things”

The term mixed sports comes from Lyle McDonald. He recently published one article on this subject, hopefully also motivated by our short e-mail discussion. 

Lyle McDonald’s Sports Continuum


Although, the mixed sports group also contains martial arts, I would be referring to team games in this article under that term. 


So, Lyle presented a continuum of sports, training and adaptations based on the trade-off between Power~Capacity or Strength/Power~Endurance. Yes, we are dealing with complementarity one more time.

trade off
Power~Capacity trade-off

This concept of trade-off between Power~Capacity is also called critical power, or the average power one is able to produce for a certain time duration – the longer the duration, the lower the average power produced  and vice versa. And this has a lot to do with energy systems utilized and fatigue created. 

Taking Lyle’s graph (and his three group of sports), we can make the following:

Distribution of Power~Capacity in sports

It is important to mention that different parts of the Power~Capacity continuum are inter-related (both cross in terms of correlations, and longitudinal in term of transfer). This has couple of implications.

Members Only! Join us Today for Just $1 and Get Unlimited Access to All Content Become Member



I am a physical preparation coach from Belgrade, Serbia, grow up in Pula, Croatia (which I consider my home town). I was involved in physical preparation of professional, amateur and recreational athletes of various ages in sports such as basketball, soccer, volleyball, martial arts and tennis. Read More »

Are you ready? Get it NOW!

Increase more than 700% of Email Subscribers!

Your Information will never be shared with any third party